Former Queensland and Australian Rugby League player Steve Price went one-on-one with Indigenous students at seven schools Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday last week as part of a Former Origin Greats (FOGS) ARTIE Indigenous initiative that has boosted the school attendance of selected students by up to 79%.
The ARTIE program has recently introduced this special initiative utilising the inspirational qualities of Steve Price. Called the ‘Steve Price Project’, the initiative involves Price meeting one-on-one with 50 selected Indigenous ARTIE program students who are striving to improve academic, behaviour and attendance outcomes several times over the course of Term 4. At each meeting, Price works with each student to set academic, behaviour and attendance goals, providing inspiration and encouragement.
The Steve Price Project has sparked an impressive response from students since its inception at the start of this term, with attendance improving dramatically amongst the 50 students since their first meeting with Price in October. One example is at Woodridge State High School – all of the six Woodridge students participating have improved their attendance since Price first met with them, with one student improving their attendance from 38% in term 3 to 89% in term 4. Another student at Beenleigh State High School has improved their attendance from 15% in term 3 to an impressive 94% in term 4 following involvement from Price. Improvements have also been made in the areas of academic and behaviour.
Having met with students at the start of the term, Steve Price met one-on-one with each student for 15 minutes this week to check their progress on goals set at the start of the school term. Students who reach their goals at the conclusion of the term will have the opportunity to have lunch with Price.
FOGS Executive Chairman Gene Miles said the FOGS ARTIE program is committed to working individually with Indigenous students on a weekly basis to improve attendance and engagement.
“Sporting stars like Steve Price are held in very high esteem by young people and to provide the opportunity for Indigenous students at South East Queensland high schools to meet him to develop personal goals is truly unique,” said Gene.
“The response from students has been very encouraging and we acknowledge Steve for his outstanding contribution to the work being undertaken by the FOGS ARTIE mentors in schools each week.”
“The ARTIE program is about working with Indigenous students as individuals encourage them to stay at school, get an education and be their best,”
“Each school participating in the ARTIE program has two ARTIE mentors working with the Indigenous students in the school each week. The ARTIE mentors are young successful sporting or academic leaders who get alongside the Indigenous students and provide the encouragement, accountability and inspiration through sharing personal experience,” concluded Gene.
Funded by the Australian Government Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations (DEEWR), the Former Origin Greats ARTIE Program is operating in seven South East Queensland State High Schools in 2010, with plans to expand it into more schools in future years. Steve Price is an ARTIE Program Ambassador, with the program involving a host of other high profile sports people including Sam Thaiday, Jharal Yow Yeh, Brooke Spence, Allan Langer and Wendell Sailor. The schools involved in the program include Bundamba, Ipswich, Redbank Plains, Marsden, Woodridge, Loganlea, Beenleigh State High Schools. An ARTIE Pilot program at Kawana Waters State College was launched during October.